jill's room

...a place to explore the use of technology in education...

17 September 2005

What has stuck out strongly in my mind since our introduction class, is to be involved in the process of actively thinking about my experience with blogging as a student. Three years ago, when I started an online diary with diaryland, I had never heard of blogging, and I had no idea that I had stepped into such a growing trend! I joined because my friend mentioned it to me and I thought it might be fun. As simple as that. What ended up happening, however, is that I had joined a community - a group of people that related as much online as we did in person.

Blood (2000) works through many of the effects of blogging in her article. A lot of the points she raises related to my experience. I found reading others' blogs very interesting, and enjoyed seeing what links they included or what topics and themes carried through multiple journals. Often times I would write an entry based on things that other people had written about, including my personal view on the topic. Since everything posted is public domain, I took the time to consider my point of view before writing, to learn about my own biases and how I balanced my reasoning. I didn't always like what I had written when I would go back through the archives, but I always left the posts as they were because they represented how I felt at that time.

I also really enjoyed the creative side of the experience. I spent countless hours viewing the html pages and playing around, attempting to decipher the language. There were some successes, and when I figured something out I would change up that feature any time I felt like it. I enjoyed the confidence I gained with computers from such a small exposure to the world 'behind the scenes'.

It is the combination of learning about yourself through your writing - and the reactions/responses that you have to what others write - as well as the experimentation aspect, that presents a connection for me to the world of education. Incorporating the use of a blog-type program into a unit, for example, could allow the students to document and discuss as they are learning. At the end of the unit, there is a tangible product that can be compared over time for reflective purposes. Blogging can allow the students to watch themselves grow. It may be fun to even include a side assignment of exploring the formatting options to see where the pupils can take their creativity. The possibilities are infinite.

Blood, Rebecca. "Weblogs: A History and Perspective", Rebecca's Pocket. 07 September 2000. 16 September 2005. http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html.

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